Welcome to Age Exchange

Age Exchange was founded in Blackheath in 1983, with the vision of harnessing the power of reminiscence to improve the health and wellbeing of people. The charity had a revolutionary idea – creativity and conversations can connect with people living with dementia in incredible ways and in doing so, change their lives for the better.

Whilst a person’s ability to communicate with words may decline with the development of dementia, art and creativity is a universal joy and a tool for self-expression that remains, even as the condition progresses.

The heart of a community

The founders of Age Exchange realised that people living with dementia still have much to contribute to society and they are very much part of our vibrant community in Blackheath.

Age Exchange is much more than a typical dementia care service. Age Exchange has something for everyone. Young and old alike. Our bustling community hub is a welcome space for a coffee, a chance to take part in an activity class or to volunteer in our library or not for profit café. It’s as much a home to mums and toddlers enjoying cakes and games in the café, as it is for families touched by dementia.

Age Exchange has been the heart of the community for almost 40 years and welcomes more than 180,000 visitors each year. Making everyone part of our community, Age Exchange is able to reduce the isolation so often associated with dementia. It is the non-clinical, warm and welcoming place that every community deserves.

Our goals

  • reducing isolation and loneliness
  • promoting intergenerational understanding
  • improving the quality of life and care for older people and those with dementia
  • supporting carers to maintain their own health and wellbeing

As a charity we rely on our incredible volunteers. Age Exchange promotes and supports active ageing by bringing people together.

Our unique approach to dementia intervention has an incredible impact of quality of life, helping people to rediscover their voice, their ability to dance or simply to have fun again.

Age Exchange has created many inspiring art projects across the generations. We work with schools, in neighbourhoods and with communities – anywhere there are stories that we can support, develop and protect for the future.

We offer specialist training and consultancy services to deliver our Reminiscence Arts practice in your workplace or community.

Age Exchange worked throughout 2019-2020 on a remarkable partnership project with the military mental health charity Combat Stress. Part of the centenary programme entailed training and working with military veterans to film and record their experience of service, combat and of living with PTSD or other mental health condition. The film we made with them toured the UK and has been extremely well received by veterans and their families, the general public, as well as the many partners we worked with on Combat Stress 100.

Age Exchange entered “Combat Stress 100” for the Charity Film Awards 2022 and we are through to the final voting rounds.

Please do vote for the veterans' film. It's easy. 

Voting deadline has now been extended to Sunday 23 January

The film is a remarkable piece of work and a tribute to the immense courage of those who service in the military and who live with PTSD, and their families and the professionals at Combat Stress who support them.

Reminiscence Arts

Reminiscence Arts is Age Exchange’s unique approach to working creatively. It is the creative exploration of memories.

Age Exchange provides a home for a variety of community activities, groups and classes enabling people to make friends and learn new skills. We also offer spaces for hire

The Exchange

The Exchange is an inspirational space in the centre of Blackheath with a café, a community library and a whole range of services. Plan your visit

Care and support

Our Caring Together Service supports people living with dementia and their carers improving their lives by using reminiscence and the arts.

Age Exchange
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